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tv   CNN Presents  CNN  November 6, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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three mines from the previous record set in 2001. this year's 47,000 runners is a far cry from the 127,000 that r ran in 1970. con grach ligss to everyone who participated. i'm don lemon here in atlanta. we will see you here tomorrow from atlanta. have a nice weekend. have a nice weekend. thank you for watching. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com welcome to a gps special. "restoring the american dream: getting back to work." i'm fareed zakaria. whenb we talk about what it takes to compete in america, everyone agrees it is education. if our own workers are not skilled or trained or smart enough, we will decline as a country. in addition democracy depends on aej kated citizenry, so how are we doing?
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take a rough look. 100 representative american kids entering high school. what does fate have in store for them? 28 of that 500 won't graduate. a total of 50 won't go to college, so that is half of the class that won't go on to higher education. 50 will at the end college, but only 22 will graduate within six years. meanwhile, other countries are outsmarting us. on a recent international test, u.s. students ranked only 15th in the world in reading and 23rd in science and 31st in math. overall, the world economic forum ranks the quality of our education at 26th. what's odd is that we have been out spending most of the developed countries by a long shot n. 2007, we spent over $10,000 per student versus the $7,400 average for rich countries. how can we spend so much money and have so little to show for it? we will ask that question and
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others to some of the leading figures in american education here on this special and "time" essay, and we will talk to the man who spent billions of dollars about how to fix education about how he is spending his money. microsoft philanthropist bill gates. but first, two nations whose students consistently rank on top of the world, south korea and finland. what is their secret? we will take you there and show you how they get their impressive results with completely opposite approaches. let's get started. ♪ . welcome to seoul, south korea, the home of the world's fastest growing economies.
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many reasons to be impressed with this ancient tiger that grows from the ashes of a civil war. but south korea's crown jewel is its education system. thanks to a militant drive for success, this nation of students have outperformed the rest of the world for the better part of a decade. on the most recent fisa exam, the benchmark exam south korea ranked first in reading and second in math among all nations. >> in south korea, teachers are known as nation builders. >> president obama has notice and singing korea's praises in many cases. oan visit to seoul in 2009, he asked the south korean president what his biggest challenge was in education and the reply was that the korean parents care too much about their children's success. we visited the cho family on a
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typical day for their son. he gets up early day at 6:00 a.m. jumps rope as the sun comes up. then he eats a massive breakfast that his mother has prepared. she says a healthy meal helps his concentration. his studies are especially important this year, because next november he takes an all-important college entrance exam, and it is the ultimate test in a particularly test-driven education system. >> since the family is really expecting a lot from me, and supporting me a lot, i think that i have to return their favo favor. >> sung doh goes to school from 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., longer than our students. there are 502 school days on the
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calendar and that is double of american students. over their academic careers, south korean students will spend almost two years in the classroom longer than their american counterparts. after the classes light up, he studies for hours in the school cubicle and takes his dinner the school cafeteria. then he will sometimes go to a late-night cram school known in korea as a hogwon. they are nocturnal schools for kids offering classes in science, math or any other subject that is covered on the big college exam. afterschool instruction is very popular here, enrolling 3/4 of the nation's students. the average korean family spends 20% of their income on private tutoring. back home, he usually continues his studies well after midnight. >> it is true that my study hours is horrible, but i have lived it that i might as well
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enjoy the pain that i can avoid. i am trying my best to enjoy this environment and that age. >> the korean education system is at the heart of an extraordinary economic success story. 30 years ago the nation's per capita income was less than $1,700, and today, it is almost $24,000. but many here think that the pain students endure is not worth the price of admission to the world's elite. suicides among school-aged children are abnormally high, doubling in 2009 compared to 2003. president lee myung-bak has made easing the economic pressure one of his priorities pledging to reduce the study loads and promote a more engaging curriculum for the students. >> the process is so painful that they don't know how the enjoy learning. >> a former minister of education and now advices the president. as minister, he changed the
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college admissions process so that there would be less emphasis on the entrance exam and he targeted the late-night cram schools i with were known to drill the students past midnight. and there is a 10:00 p.m. curfew for the schools. their own law to prevent students from studying too hard. citizens can actually report misbehaving cram schools to the government for a cash reward. the tipsters have become known as the hag parazzi. we see that there is a school here in the neighborhood on the corner, and the team looked for any suspiciously lit schools where the students might be looking for illicit algebra lesson. one school was open. and the inspectors issued a
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penalty. they have exposed 75 schools this year alone. he hopes that south korea can eventually reach a happy medium between the infectious enthusiasm for education and the students' well-being. >> we should try to make students be happy to learn. that's very important to me. so that's what i hope for the future of korea. >> coming up, is there a kinder, gentler way for the students to make the grade? we will visit a country where students spend far less time in classroom in south korea, and yet they enjoy remarkable results. [ artis brown ] america is facing some tough challenges right now.
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south korea's students spend way more time in the classroom than americans. that might explain why they've been outperforming us lately by leaps and bounds. but there's another country where students spend less time in class than the south koreans,
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and their performance is also off the charts. finland. ♪ >> on the surface, finland is the education world's ultimate slacker. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> children don't start school here until they're 7 years old. they have far less homework than many countries. and they log fewer hours in the classroom than most developed countries, even the united states. but don't be fooled. finnish students score first in the world in science and second in the world in math. >> that's the kind of amazing thing that we are able to achieve higher internationally in these academic areas with very little work and very short school days. >> a leading figure in finland's education field works with its ministry of education. in his recent book "finnish lessons," he says finland is less concerned with the amount of time students spend in class
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than with how that time is spent. >> if we could calculate how much time young people engage in real learning, i think that finnish young people are probably at the same level where your children are, japanese or koreans are. >> in finland's schools, teachers spend less time drilling the facts and more time developing students' creativity. most importantly, he says, hardly any time is spend preparing students for standardized tests. >> we have deliberately removed all of those things. we never had a standardized testing system, and i hope that we never will. >> but how can finland afford to be so flexible in the approach and still get great results? the answer is simple, they have great teachers. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> teaching is a highly respected profession here, on par with doctors and lawyers. that's because they're all required to have master's degrees. the competition for those
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degrees is fierce. only one in ten applicants is accepted to primary schoolteacher training programs. >> the elementary teacher program is hardest to get in than the university. harder to get in than medical school for law school. >> the teacher's task is to -- >> christy lanka, a professional of educational psychology at the university of helsinki says her school routinely turns away highly qualified candidates. it's the exact opposite situation in america. almost half of all u.s. teachers graduate in the bottom third of their college class. >> i'm asking what kind of information we need. >> hakanan was one of the lucky ones accepted to the university of helsinki's teacher education program. >> from sort of day one, they start making you think about the importance of how you're teaching and what it is that you're trying to get across. it's not just your subject. it's also that you're raising future citizens. >> when you think about finland, what comes to mind?
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>> in addition to managing her course load, she practices her craft at a local school under the watchful eye of an experienced teacher. >> definitely from the start, there's -- they put you on the spot. and you have to start kind of performing as a teacher. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> south korea and other high performing nations are known for their well-trained educators, too. but in finland, teachers are given far more autonomy. there is a national curriculum here, but it's just a framework, serving as a guide for each school instead of a top down edict. and because teachers don't have standardized tests to worry about, they can teach their students however they want. >> it's like in a company. you have a strategy of the company, but you are not watching each employee all the time. so it's very autonomous profession. >> but this autonomy and handing over the responsibility of many things to schools would not have been possible if we hadn't had this academic program for
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training teachers. so without good teachers you cannot really do this. >> with all of that responsibility and the respect that comes with it, finnish educators tend to stay in their profession. compared to the u.s. where the turnover among teachers is roughly seven times higher. but let's get real for a moment. what can america learn from a tiny ethically homogeneous country that is home to just over 5 million people? salzburg agrees that size does matter. he points out that over 30 american states are similar to finland in population. >> colorado or massachusetts. very close to what finland could be. >> but an american classroom is likely to be far more diverse, featuring many different languages and ethnic origins and have a great deal more poverty. only 4% of finnish children are poor, while in the u.s. the rate is over 20%.
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>> i've been in these classrooms in the united states. and when i would see these huge diversities and poverty, i'm helpless. >> can an education system overcome poverty? and can the u.s. create an army of great teachers like in finland? next, we'll talk to the man who's spending billions of dollars to answer those questions. fore! no matter what small business you are in, managing expenses seems to... get in the way. not anymore. ink, the small business card from chase introduces jot an on-the-go expense app made exclusively for ink customers.
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as students around the world overtake the united states, no one outside government is more concerned or spending more money to fix education than the bill and melinda gates foundation. in total, it has bankrolled over $5 billion worth of initiatives for students and schools. i visited bill gates at his foundation's new headquarters in seattle to talk about his latest plans. if you were the secretary of education, i'd say you are even more powerful than the secretary of education. suppose you could change something about the structure of american education, the system. what would it be? >> if i was in charge of a school district, it'd be about hiring the best teachers. and how do you get them to learn from each other and how do you
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make sure you're bringing the really good ones in? so the basic research about great teaching, that's now become our biggest investment. >> it's okay. it's good. >> it could be a very smart investment. one study says that if students had a top teacher for four years straight, the achievement gap between blacks and whites would disappear. >> page 68. if you have your notes -- >> the gates foundation has launched a massive effort to figure out how america can foster great teaching. collecting data from thousands of educators and even videotaping their lessons. what do you think makes a good teacher? >> clearly, there's something about engaging the student. as i've watched the videos of the great teachers, they are constantly looking out and seeing if the kids are starting to fidget. they're bringing up the energy level. they're calling on this kid. they're using examples. >> what were you all thinking when they were hanging that --
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>> but gates' research is not only about identifying great teachers, his team is also figuring out how to grade the teachers, and just like they grade the students. they even have an evaluation portfolio. >> i'm not saying that you need to use semicolons all the time. >> they're looking at different ways to reward and motivate good teachers, like adding to their paychecks, based on their principal's evaluation or teaching performance. >> we're going to have these feedback mechanisms. the way you weight the different elements, how much tasks weigh into that, how strong the other elements are, that's what we're investing in. >> and that's where things can get controversial. because when it comes to education policy, the politics are nasty. >> no more cuts! >> in recent years, an all-out brawl between school districts and teachers unions has dominated the education debate. critics of the unions say they're more concerned about preserving their members' jobs
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than educating children. the unions say that the administrators' reforms aren't doing any good. at the center of the storm has been michelle ree, the former chancellor of washington, d.c.'s public school system, one of the nation's worst performing school districts at the time she took over. >> in 2007 the education world went into a frenzy over the possibility that michelle reed could actually turn around the school district. >> featured in the lightning rod documentary "waiting for superman" ree turned the school system upsidedown, firing dozens of schoolteachers and closing 27 schools. you famously clashed with the unions while you were in office. do you think still in retrospect and looking forward, are teachers unions ra fundamental problem to educational reform? >> well, i think that teachers unions, but more specifically the contracts, the collective bargaining agreements that dictate a lot of the policies in school districts are extraordinarily problematic.
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>> one of the policies rhee has been fighting has to do with seniority. when schools cut their budgets, newer teachers are often laid off before the more experienced teachers regardless of their performance. it's the so-called last-in, first-out policy. >> this is a policy that makes absolutely no sense for children. because what it results in is one, you end up firing some of your best teachers. two, you end up disproportionately negatively impacting the lowest performing schools in the system because they are the ones that have the largest number of new teachers. and, three, you actually end up having to lay off or fire more teachers because the junior teachers are the lowest paid. >> after she left d.c., rhee started her own organization, students first, to push her agenda all over the country. she's lobbied state governments to pass laws, reforming teacher tenure, and paying teachers according to their performance. merit pay. people look at one of your
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proposals, merit pay -- >> mm-hmm. >> -- and say the whole rationale behind this is wrong. you're looking at teachers who have gone into this profession for reasons that don't have to do about maximizing money. >> right, right. >> and you're trying to influence them by offering them a little bit more money or a little bit less money. >> mm-hmm. >> is it really going to work? >> the merit pay proposal that we put in place in washington, d.c., allowed the most highly effective teachers who were teaching in the lowest performing schools to make twice as much money as they were in the old system. so when you're talking about the potential of doubling someone's salary, that's not a little bit of money. >> what the gates foundation is trying to do is to come up with the perfect combination of carrots and sticks to improve teacher performance. the hillsborough county, florida, school district, covering the tampa area, got a $100 million gates grant to be one of the foundation's new guinea pigs. after some tough negotiating,
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here's the system that the union and administrators came up with. >> let's continue as we normally do, okay? >> new teachers are given lots of training and on on-call professional mentor so they have a real chance to succeed. >> here's what i want to do. >> teachers are graded in three different ways. evaluations by a peer up to six times a year, observations by the school principal up to four times a year, and a complex formula that measures their students' performance. under the old evaluation system, a whopping 99% of teachers were given a satisfactory rating or better. but not anymore. >> i am not going to receive the same kind of performance appraisal. i'm no longer going to get one that says i'm perfect. i'm going to get one that actually is representative of how well i'm doing. >> how might that help in future lessons? >> the ratings will determine pay levels for new teachers and for veterans who opt in and could lead to firings. >> learning was enhanced because
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of the communication with the students. >> okay. >> but it looks like the teachers, for the most part, are onboard. 80% of them said the feedback improved their craft. >> i can sit down and have a conversation with that person and say, look, give me some feedback. give me something that i've never got before. >> but not everyone agrees with the foundation's $100 million experiment. when we come back, we'll hear from one of the gates's harshest critics. >> he's listening to economists who think that the way to evaluate teachers is by their students' test scores. i think this is profoundly wrong. y. the world needs more energy. where's it going to come from? ♪ that's why right here, in australia, chevron is building one of the biggest natural gas projects in the world. enough power for a city the size of singapore for 50 years. what's it going to do to the planet? natural gas is the cleanest conventional fuel there is. we've got to be smart about this. it's a smart way to go.
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i'm don lemon, and here are the headlines this hour. supporters of a texas death row inmate are calling on governor rick perry to postpone a execution. hank skinner is to be put to death wednesday for the death of his live-in girlfriend and two adult sons. for years, he has been asking for dna analysis on untested crime scene evidence that he says will prove his innocence. oklahoma is experiencing the worst earthquake in its history. more than a dozen aftershocks have shaken the people there. the epicenter was near the town of sparks and the second quake within 24 hours. the first had a magnitude of 4.7. the nba owners have i.v. g ten players association until wednesday to accept the new collective bargaining agreement. both sides met for eight hours saturday and eight days a of the talks broke off last month.
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the two sides are divided over who gets the bulk of league revenue. those are the headlines. i'm don lemon, keeping you informed. cnn, the most trusted name in news. bill gates has given billions of dollars to help fix education. performers like him have put enormous energy into the school reform movement. but their ideas do have critics. >> the gates foundation does have extraordinary power. when bill gates decides on a policy, people start lining up and saying we'll do it. >> nyu professor diane ravitch issues a harsh critique of gates and other reforms in her book "the death and life of the great american school system." >> he is listening to economists who believe that the best way to
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evaluate is based on test scores. many teachers may be fired the and test scores may go up, but they won't be better educated. >> ravitch used to be a big fan of "no child left behind" proposed by president bush which was the law of the land, but after the test results, ravitch has changed her tune. >> i thought, that is wrong. that shocked a lot of people. >> ravitch notes that the importance has led test-obsessed school districts to cut programs like the arts that foster real creativity. >> i have seen many articles how a child wants the break free of the lock-step approach to standardized instruction and standardized testing, and we on the other hand seem to be rushing towards the model that they are trying to shake free of. >> i have heard people say that the american system needs to be one which encourages people to
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be curious, and venture rouse, taking risks, not this asian-style system where everyone's hurtling towards a test, and they will often cite you as an example. look, bill gates dropped out of college and spent hours anp hours in computer labs just dreaming up stuff. this is not working methodically towards a test. what do you say to that? >> well, certainly, if my example is meaningful, it is one data point, but being good at math and having that knowledge was critical to my understanding computers and the write code, and yes, i memorized the tables, and how things work. >> do you think that the kind of tests that so much of education reform uses as a metric is a good measurer of intelligence or achievement or future success? >> we're not an organization
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that says that testing data alone is what is the measure of teaching excellence. what we need is a broad set of measures where your peer teachers, the feedback from students, evaluation of your video, of your classroom activities, all these things need to be brought together to build a personnel system. >> if the remedies aren't greater accountability and more emphasis on merit for good teachers and dismissal for bad teachers and tests, what should we do? >> well, the biggest problem we have in american education is the fact that so many children live in desperate poverty. more than 20% of our children live in poverty. and the best way to improve academic performance would be to address both the social problems as well as the school problems. i would love to see bill gates pour millions and millions into coming up with the very best way to improve early childhood
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education. these would be immense social contributions. >> if there was a magic thing you could do to improve the inner city, you know, i'm all for any ideas there. i think improving the schools, having them be as good as the really good charter schools like the kip and others, that is to me the most transformative thing. because the kip school is running on the same dollars per student per year as the drop-out factory that's five blocks away. >> kip, which stands for the knowledge is power program, is a group of public schools that are allowed to operate independently of the normal school system. most of kipp's students qualify for public assistance. yet more than 95% of its middle schoolers have graduated from high school. more than 85% of kipp alumni have gone to college. >> those charters are fantastic.
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i mean, they -- whenever you get discouraged that somehow this can't be done, you know, the kids have had a tough experience, go to a kipp middle school, you know, see those fifth graders, see those eighth graders and see what a transformation it is. >> the hypoteneuse is -- >> long hours, a long school year and a demanding personnel system for teachers are the hallmarks of the best charter schools, says gates. but he says the key to their success goes beyond organizational nuts and bolts. >> they are really focused on the kids' values, what counts, how the kid thinks of their future. that is where they really get the win. and then the idea of, okay, let's learn addition and multiplication, let's not disrupt the classroom. that follows from creating that really good environment. >> but while charter schools like kipp have extraordinary results, they've been the exception, not the rule. a study of half the nation's charters found that only one in five tested better than a
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typical public school, and almost two in five performed worse. >> we're offering a false promise that simply by creating -- turning public schools over to private management that the results will be better. they're not. >> the debate over charter schools, teachers, and testing in america goes on. but, meanwhile, there are even more radical innovators at work far from the educational bureaucracy. next, we will talk to an outlier who stumbled into a way to revolutionize teaching. [ marge ] psst.
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two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy.
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we've circled the globe to learn lessons on education from other countries and sought answers from advocates for change here at home. but there are some who say that incremental reform of the current education system would be like rearranging the deck chairs on the "titanic." they argue for a complete overhaul of the education system. >> most of the time kids spend their days at school doing low-grade clerical work. human intelligence is much more exciting and diverse than that. >> sir ken robinson is a profes for e -- professor emeritus at warwick and the
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author of several book s >> you have three children, yes? on creativity. >> mm-hmm. >> i'll make you a bet and i'm confident i'll win it. though i haven't met them. my bet is that they're completely different from each other. aren't they? >> yes. you win. >> exactly. the basic truth of the matter is that all children are different just in the way that all adults are different. human ability and aptitude and passions are tremendously diverse. >> despite that basic truth, america's education system approaching children as if they're all the same. it was originally designed to meet the needs of industrialism in the 19th century. and it hasn't really changed. if you think about it, our schools literally resemble factories. right down to the ringing bells that mark the beginning of every class. >> we educate children by age all the time. we have separate subject departments and divisions. all of these things are really organizational features which are in the interest of efficiency. they're not much to do with learning. >> describe the school of the future, if you could build it. >> i believe that the future lies in personalizing education
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and in customizing it. >> one on one teaching is kind of the ideal that you'd like to achieve. where you see where they're confused. you see where they're bored. i also get to take kids around to neat places, you know, like my son and i have been to particle colliders and computer museums and all sorts of unusual things that are kind of stimulating. >> not everyone has guided tours of particle colliders with bill gates, but a young silicon valley tech guru is trying to give kids a customized education using technology. >> what i want to do in this video is try to figure out what "x" is. >> meet sal kahn. the accidental creator of kahn academy. a not for profit website that's turning heads. >> we want to figure out what bdc is. >> seven years ago he was working at an investment firm when he began tutoring his little cousin in math. when scheduling time got
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difficult a friend of kahn's made a suggestion. >> he said why don't you put your lectures on youtube. and i said, no, youtube is for dogs on skateboards and not for serious mathematics. >> five years later he has produced 3,000 videos that have been viewed over 80 million times. bill gates is a big fan and donated seed money. the videos cover every level of math. >> you only have a hypoteneuse when you have a right angle. it is the side opposite the right angle, and it is the longest side of a right triangle. >> plus many other topics sfwl that's really just saying, hey, we've had enough of you, great britain. >> they're conversational and fun, but still very thorough. >> if this does not blow your mind, then you have no emotion. >> i'm sometimes a little bit eccentric in the videos. and i think, you know, students enjoy that. this guy's, you know, kind of -- he's himself.
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>> the problem with our approach to math education, says kahn, is that students carry on gaps in their knowledge throughout their math careers. making it hard to get the more advanced concepts. the key to overcoming that problem is to let students learn at their own pace. khan academy offers students a quiz after each video, and they can't pass a level until they get ten out of ten questions right. >> let everyone learn at their own pace. only move on to a concept once they've gotten to a certain level of proficiency or mastery on the bacon september basic c their tool kit is full of mastery. >> and if we let students learn at their own pace, what does that do to the traditional classroom model? it's turned it upside down. which is exactly what we need to do. last fall, los altos,
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california, agreed to use kahn academy in five classrooms. >> show me what that looks like as a number. >> cammi allowed her students to experiment with the program to see what it could offer. >> we saw kids exploring areas that we didn't know they could. i mean, it was -- it was surprising to them and to us the levels that they were reaching. and it was fascinating just to watch them be free, to have that freedom to explore on their own. >> one crucial discovery was for the lesson be watched at home. >> and they get the basic concept from the teacher and p copy the notes. >> now they can do the problems with other people around them, with the teacher around them and the peers around them, and they can actually tutor each other. >> when the host students get stuck, she tells them to write their name on the board and another student soon comes to the rescue. >> you add this to it. >> the classroom buzzes with little tutors who are learning themselves through the act of teaching.
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and if a particularly gifted teacher is bored, she can race ahead and try calculus if she wants. >> if you look at the people who work in a workplace and are creative and engineers and things, they don't sit all of the time at the desk and just work by themselves, they meet and they talk and bounce ideas off of each other, and we need to develop that skill in our student, because it is such an important skill for where they are headed in the future. >> what is more, her students can't goof off, because she has the ultimate tool to keep tabs on them, kahn's intricately detailed tracking software. she can see how many units each student has passed, how many times he has watched a video. >> each bar is a different student. >> and how long he has been watching down to the minute. all of the information can be seen in realtime on her ipad. >> being able to walk around and pull that instant data up on a child and sit down and say, i just saw that you were struggling with this particular
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problem, and it is fabulous. >> kahn academy shows progress, and the past attempts to bring the technology into the classroom have fallen flat. a landmark study by the department of education found that 9 of 10 math software products had no significant effects on test scores and only a handful of the kahn classes have been tested, but they learned high marks. >> traditionally people said that technology is cool and use it by hooker ee eer or by crooke are saying that we want to enable learning and learning at their own pace to empower the teacher to free up the class time, and it is a major shift in the mindset on what a classroom is. >> coming up, i will give you my own conclusions based on this fascinating reporting of education around the world and what we need to do at home.
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we are traveled across the
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globe. we have listened to the experts. so what should we do about american education? here are my thoughts. first, let's face up to the fact that we have a deep problem. the data is clear. the unemployment rate for college graduates today is just 4%. for high school dropouts, it is 14%. part of the reason we're in this crisis is that we have slacked off and allowed our education system to become rigid and sclerotic. but part of it is that other countries have focused intensely on education in recent decades. the result? we have a population of adults now that face real competition in global economy. as bill gross, the head of the world's largest bond firm, pimco, puts it, american workers are too expensive and too poorly educated to compete globally. there are two variables here. our education level, which is too low, and our wages, which are too high. either we raise education or markets will lower our wages.
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it's already happening. our decline in education achievements over the last 20 years has been accompanied by a stagnation in wages for the median american worker. now, if we can raise our educational levels, the payoff is huge. >> when jonas walks in, what does he see? >> the global consulting firm mckenzie estimates that if the united states had in recent years closed the gap between its educational achievement levels and those of better performing nations like finland and korea, gdp in 2008 could have been $1.3 trillion to $2.3 trillion higher. this represents a 9% to 16% jump in gdp. so how do we get there? some elements of the solution seem obvious. the writer malcolm gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to get
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really good at anything. it's really just another way of making thomas edison's famous point that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. now, if our kids spent two years less in school than in many other countries, they will find themselves behind in many areas. we don't have to go to the lengths that south korea has gone to lengthen the school day and school year, but we can't do the least work and hope for the best results. whether you look at south korea or finland, getting great teachers is obviously at the heart of good education. we had great teachers until the mid 1970s. the most talented, hard working and ambitious women in america could only go into a few professions. and teaching was top among them. the good news is that women can now succeed in any profession. the bad news is the quality of america's teachers has declined. we can see what works by looking at america's best performing schools, private or public. they have great teachers, high standards and customized teaching.
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and while we spend much of the education budget badly, good teachers and good schools cost money. so cutting education budgets now will not improve quality. we need to reallocate the money, spend it better and get better results. finally, though, let's try to do all these reforms, keeping in mind the genius of american education. i went through the asian educational system that is now so admired. it gave me an impressive base of knowledge and taught me how to study hard and fast. but when i got to america for college, i found that it had not trained me that well to think. >> the way that carver develops the characters -- >> american education at its best teaches you how to solve problems, question authority, think for yourself and be creative. it teaches you to learn what you love and to love learning. these are incredibly important values, and they are why america has been able to maintain an
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edge in creative industries, entrepreneurship and innovation. we need to know the basics, but we also need to be encouraged to think. >> we know the triangle hgi is an equilateral triangle. >> that's why i'm so taken with what sal khan is doing with california schools. it is classic american innovation. thinking outside the box. upending the old system applied to education. we might well look back on this trend as the beginning of a whole new way of teaching math, and maybe everything. technology is allowing us to make education more customized, personal and interactive. i'm optimistic about america's educational future. we now have a national sense of urgency, we have so many people inside and outside the system working to change it. we have new ideas and new models. in retrospect, this might be seen as the time that america started fixing its education crisis for real. thanks for watching this

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